U.S. Soccer

Johnston, Morgan Goals Lift USA to 2-0 Win vs. Japan in Front of Record Ohio Crowd

CLEVELAND, Ohio (June 5, 2016) – The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan 2-0 on goals from Julie Johnston and Alex Morgan in front of 23,535 fans – a record attendance for a WNT game in the State of Ohio – in a match that was abandoned in the 76th minute due to inclement weather.

After a thrilling 3-3 draw last Thursday in the teams’ first meeting since the historic 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final, the USA put in a dominant performance in the second leg of this two-game set, controlling large swaths of the game and generating numerous goal scoring opportunities while holding firm defensively. The USA held Japan to just two shots on goal.

Johnston scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 27th minute with her eighth career goal, all of set plays, before Morgan capped things off in the 62nd with her team leading 11th goal of 2016.

With the U.S. in control of the match, both teams began introducing numerous second half substitutions, but after playing almost the entire match under sunny skies, the weather abruptly took a turn for the worse and in the 76th minute the match officials were forced to send the players back to the locker room due to lightning and heavy rain. After a long delay, and with more bad weather rolling in, the matched was called off.

U.S. Soccer is awaiting final word from FIFA as to whether the match and all the statistics will count as official.

The U.S. WNT will finish its preparations for the 2016 Olympics in Rio next month, beginning with the first match in team history against South Africa at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 9 (12 p.m. CT; FS1). The team will play a second match later in July against an as yet to be announced opponent before departing for the Olympics.

Goal Scoring Rundown:
USA – Julie Johnston (Allie Long), 27th minute:
The U.S. won a free kick near the right sideline just inside Japan’s half of the field that Morgan Brian sent toward the top of the penalty area. Ami Sugita miss-hit her attempted clearance and the ball fell to Megan Klingenberg, who tapped it back into the left side of the penalty area to Allie Long. Long dribbled into the box before whipping a low cross to the far post where Johnston had gotten in front of her marker to easily redirect the ball into the net. USA 1, JPN 0 (SEE GOAL)

USA – Alex Morgan (Crystal Dunn), 62nd minute: Julie Johnston sent a long ball over the Japan backline down the right wing for Crystal Dunn to run onto. Dunn sprinted into the attacked third and spun a first-time cross low across the face of goal for Alex Morgan who slipped between a pair of Japan defenders to redirect the ball into the roof of the net for the game-capping goal. USA 2, JPN 0 (SEE GOAL) FINAL

Key Saves and Defensive Stops:
JPN – Erina Yamane, 1st minute:
The USA came flying out of the gates from the opening whistle and immediately put Japan’s defense under pressure. Crystal Dunn got down the right flank and picked out Christen Press, who was cutting into the box. Press saw her point blank shot saved by on rushing Japan goalkeeper. The rebound fell to Alex Morgan in the middle of the penalty area and her goal-bound shot hit teammate Allie Long. The USA got another crack at goal, but it was cleared away by a defender with Yamane still finding her footing after making the initial save.

JPN – Erina Yamane, 8th minute: Christen Press got in behind the Japan defense down its left flank and cut past a defender before centering the ball for Allie Long, who was making a trailing run out of midfield. Long had a good look at goal, but her low shot right at Yamane who was able to get down and smother.

JPN – Erin Yamane, 46th minute: Alex Morgan muscled her way past a Japan defender to earn a one-vs.-one chance and after creating a bit of space for herself, she unleashed a dipping shot from just outside the penalty area that required Yamane to reach at full stretch in order to it palm away and keep the U.S. from moving further ahead early in the second half.

Next on the Schedule: The U.S. WNT returns to action when it meets South Africa for a friendly for the first time in team history at Soldier Field in Chicago on July 9 (12 p.m. CT; FS1).

Social: Facebook ; Twitter (@ussoccer_wnt; @ussoccer_esp); Instagram; Snapchat (ussoccer_wnt)

Milestone Watch:

  • Hope Solo, who earned her 196th cap, earned the 99th shutout of her career, and with two games left before the Olympics, could become the first goalkeeper to reach 100 before the USA leaves for Brazil. The USA plays South Africa for the first time in team history on July 9 at Soldier Field in Chicago and will play a yet to be announced match in late July.

Additional Notes:

  • The 23,535 fans at today’s game mark the largest crowd to watch the WNT in the state of Ohio. The previous record was 23,101 at Columbus Crew Stadium on Oct. 3, 1999 vs. South Korea.
  • Alex Morgan now has seven career goals vs. Japan, the most she has vs. any country.
  • Morgan has now scored in seven games of the 11 she’s played in 2016, and with four multi-goal games so far, has a total of 11 goals in 2016.
  • Morgan now has 67 career goals and 18 multi-goal games for the USA.
  • The only other time Morgan scored double-digit goals for the USA in a calendar year was in 2012, which, coincidently, also happened to be an Olympic year.
  • Julie Johnston scored her third goal of 2016 and eighth career goal. All have come off set pieces.
  • Allie Long notched her second career assist for the WNT.

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date:
June 5, 2016
Competition:
International Friendly
Venue:
FirstEnergy Stadium; Cleveland, Ohio
Kickoff:
1 p.m. ET
Attendance:
23,535
Weather:
74 degrees, mostly cloudy (Abandoned in 76th minute due to inclement weather). 

Scoring Summary:           1             2             F
USA                                      1             1             2
JPN                                      0             0             0 

USA – Julie Johnston (Allie Long)                              27th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Crystal Dunn)                           62

Lineups:
USA:
1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian (20-Lindsey Horan, 57), 23-Allie Long, 12-Christen Press; 16-Crystal Dunn (11- Ali Krieger, 75), 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath
Subs Not Used: 3-Samantha Mewis, 6-Whitney Engen, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 15-Emily Sonnett, 21-Alyssa Naeher

Head coach: Jill Ellis 

JPN: 1-Erina Yamane; 5-Yuri Kawamura (2-Saori Ariyoshi, 56),15-Hikari Takagi, 4-Saki Kumagai, 6-Rumi Utsugi (capt.); 17-Ami Sugita (7-Emi Nakajima 46), 10-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 14-Yu Nakasato, 13-Rika Masuya (19-Mayu Sasaki, 65); 11-Yuika Sugasawa (8-Sonoko Chiba, 46), 16-Mana Iwabuchi (20-Kumi Yokoyama, 64)
Subs Not Used: 3-Tomoko Muramatsu, 12-Ayaka Yamashita, 18-Sakiko Ikeda
Head coach: Asako Takakura
 

Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 11 / 3
Shots on Goal: 9 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 11
Offside: 4 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Julie Johnston (caution)                   13th minute
JPN – Yuika Sugasawa (caution)                 36

Officials:
Referee: Marianela Cruz (CRC)  
Assistant Referee 1: Nelly Alvarado (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Shirley Lopez (HON)
4th Official: Melissa Pastrana (HON) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Allie Long

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WNT Jun 5, 2016

- U.S. Women’s National Team Match Report -

Match: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Japan
Date:
June 5, 2016
Competition:
International Friendly
Venue:
FirstEnergy Stadium; Cleveland, Ohio
Kickoff:
1 p.m. ET
Attendance:
23,535
Weather:
74 degrees, mostly cloudy (Abandoned in 76th minute due to inclement weather). 

Scoring Summary:           1             2             F
USA                                      1             1             2
JPN                                      0             0             0 

USA – Julie Johnston (Allie Long)                              27th minute
USA – Alex Morgan (Crystal Dunn)                           62

Lineups:
USA:
1-Hope Solo; 5-Kelley O’Hara, 8-Julie Johnston, 4-Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.), 7-Meghan Klingenberg; 14-Morgan Brian (20-Lindsey Horan, 57), 23-Allie Long, 12-Christen Press; 16-Crystal Dunn (11- Ali Krieger, 75), 13-Alex Morgan, 17-Tobin Heath
Subs Not Used: 3-Samantha Mewis, 6-Whitney Engen, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 15-Emily Sonnett, 21-Alyssa Naeher

Head coach: Jill Ellis 

JPN: 1-Erina Yamane; 5-Yuri Kawamura (2-Saori Ariyoshi, 56),15-Hikari Takagi, 4-Saki Kumagai, 6-Rumi Utsugi (capt.); 17-Ami Sugita (7-Emi Nakajima 46), 10-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 14-Yu Nakasato, 13-Rika Masuya (19-Mayu Sasaki, 65); 11-Yuika Sugasawa (8-Sonoko Chiba, 46), 16-Mana Iwabuchi (20-Kumi Yokoyama, 64)
Subs Not Used: 3-Tomoko Muramatsu, 12-Ayaka Yamashita, 18-Sakiko Ikeda
Head coach: Asako Takakura
 

Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 11 / 3
Shots on Goal: 9 / 2
Saves: 2 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 2
Fouls: 5 / 11
Offside: 4 / 1 

Misconduct Summary:
USA – Julie Johnston (caution)                   13th minute
JPN – Yuika Sugasawa (caution)                 36

Officials:
Referee: Marianela Cruz (CRC)  
Assistant Referee 1: Nelly Alvarado (CRC)
Assistant Referee 2: Shirley Lopez (HON)
4th Official: Melissa Pastrana (HON) 

Budweiser Woman of the Match: Allie Long

Gallery: MNT Wraps Up First Full Week of January Camp Training

The U.S. Men's National Team completed the first week of 2017 January Camp at the National Training Center. With the full 31-player roster gathered in Carson, Calif.,  players new and old are focusing on finding their rhythm with head coach Bruce Arena. The players will spend the next few weeks training ahead of a pair of friendly matches vs. Serbia on Jan. 29 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. [TICKETS] and Jamaica on Feb. 3 at Finley Stadium in Chattanooga, Tenn. [TICKETS].

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MNT Jan 17, 2017

Gallery: WNT Training in High Gear as January Camp Rolls On

Photos from the U.S. Women's National Team training sessions on Sunday, Jan. 15 and Monday, Jan. 16 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. January Camp is in high gear for the WNT, with lots of new faces mixing in with familiar ones as player pool expansion continues to top the list of Jill Ellis' priorities in this new cycle.

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WNT Jan 17, 2017

The Vast Importance of the NWSL

On January 12 in Los Angeles, the National Women’s Soccer League held its fifth NWSL College Draft, kick-starting the professional career of 40 players, all with big dreams that most likely include playing with the U.S. Women’s National Team.

As the USA begins its long road towards qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, head coach Jill Ellis continues to emphasize the importance of watching players and deepening the player pool. While the platforms her and her staff are using to scout this array of new talent ranges from Youth National Teams, to college to players overseas, the importance of the NWSL has taken center-stage.

A Chance to Be Seen

For many reasons, having a domestic professional women’s league in the United States is a tremendous asset for both coaches and players. It allows the U.S. WNT coaches to observe a large pool of players in a competitive environment on a consistent basis. It gives the players focus, the ability to continuously train and the opportunity to play full 90-minute matches while facing some of the best players in the world.


U.S. WNT newcomer Lynn Williams and co-captain & two-time FIFA Women's Player of the Year, Carli Lloyd

“We’ve always communicated with NWSL coaches about players and we watch as many games as we can,” Ellis said. “As we don’t have a world event in the middle of this NWSL season, it will allow us to be even more connected to the league and at this time in the cycle, getting to watch these games and these players is extremely important.”

For the more established players in the WNT, the NWSL is a valuable place to sharpen their skills and show Ellis they’re putting in the effort and producing the performances to keep earning spots on one of the most competitive teams in international soccer. For the newcomers and those just breaking into the league, the NWSL is a chance to be seen, to spark the interest of Ellis and her staff and show that they’re deserving of an invite to a WNT camp.

New Opportunities

As Ellis has made deepening the WNT player pool a high priority, several NWSL players have recently been given a chance to test their mettle within the National Team environment. Last October, Ellis called 11 uncapped players to camp which included eight from the NWSL in Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (NC Courage), Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash), Shea Groom (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Arin Gilliland (Chicago Red Stars), Merritt Mathias (Seattle Reign) and Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage). In that group was also two 2016 NWSL draftees in Jane Campbell (Houston Dash) and Ashley Hatch (NC Courage).


Houston Dash's Morgan Brian and Kealia Ohai; Chicago Red Stars' Arin Gilliland & Casey Short

As the league has continued to grow, it’s become even more of a platform. The lesson? Someone is always watching so every game is an audition. Prime examples are Williams and Short who would both tell you that if it wasn’t for the league, they probably wouldn’t be wearing the U.S. Soccer crest today. Both have now earned four caps and are part of this year’s January Camp.

Breaking In
As Ellis resumes the process of evaluating players during January Camp, a handful of new NWSL names have now begun to earn multiple call-ups. Among them are goalkeeper Adrianna Franch of the Portland Thorns, NC Courage defender Jaelene Hinkle, Short, Williams, Ohai, Dahlkemper and NC courage attacker Jessica McDonald and Orlando Pride’s Kristen Edmonds. The latter two earned their first call-ups last November. All these players, except for the injured Dahlkemper, are currently in California at the WNT’s January Camp, hoping to show once again why they belong and should remain on Ellis’ radar. Additionally, Ellis also added first-time call ups Sarah Killion of Sky Blue FC and NC Courage’s Taylor Smith for evaluation during the January training camp.


First time WNT call-up and NC Courage forward, Taylor Smith

This infusion of newer players has brought a different perspective and fresh energy. The new players have had to learn how to adapt and fit into a highly competitive environment while the veteran players have had to elevate their games in the battle for roster spots. It has also brought enthusiasm and healthy competition as everyone understands that nothing is guaranteed. For Ellis, making a roster – for a training camp or a game – won’t come down to a number of caps or World Cup experience, but to performance; to the players who have earned the right to take the field through consistently productive performances.

For these new players that cut their professional teeth in the NWSL, it’s quite literally, game on.


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WNT Jan 17, 2017

Recapping the First Week of MNT January Camp

The first week of the 2017 January Camp for the U.S. Men’s National Team is in the books.

Check out all the storylines that came from a productive first seven days at the National Training Center, and be sure to follow along on Twitter and Instagram @ussoccer, as well as the official Facebook Page

Behind the Crest

Go behind the scenes with Bruce Arena as he welcomed players to January Camp and led his first training session back in charge of the MNT.

Knowing the Boss

Of all the players in camp, DaMarcus Beasley and Gyasi Zardes have featured the most for Arena. Both players give insight into how the MNT boss operates.

Eight Players Familiar with Bruce Arena

While most the January Camp roster is working with Arena for the first time, eight players have previously played for him either at the club or international level. Can you name them?

A New Chapter for Benny

After years on the outside looking into the National Team picture, Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber is grasping his second chance with the MNT during January Camp. 

Dropping Some Wisdom

Veteran MNT midfielder Alejandro Bedoya discussed what to expect from January Camp with first-timer and Philadelphia Union teammate Keegan Rosenberry upon their arrival to Los Angeles.

Plenty to Say

Lots of media descended on the National Training Center for the MNT’s first training session on Jan. 11 and the players responded in kind. Check out their first day reactions.

Star Spangled Manneh

Gambian-born winger Kekuta Manneh is one step closer to representing the United States after it was confirmed he gained his U.S. citizenship last week.

Jozy Primed for 2017

Coming off one of the most productive seasons of his career, veteran forward Jozy Altidore is hoping to replicate his January Camp form from 2016 ahead of a big year for both the MNT and Toronto FC.

Agudelo - Never Forget the First

MNT forward Juan Agudelo was gracious in hosting a Facebook Live chat last week and fondly remembered scoring his first international goal as a 17-year-old in a 1-0 friendly win against South Africa in 2010.

Five Things to Know About MNT January Camp

Did you know the idea of January Camp was formalized by MNT head coach Bruce Arena during his first tenure in charge? Learn more about the history and the number of players that have jumpstarted their international careers during the annual MNT camp.

Five Great Moments at January Camp

From hat tricks, to a regional title and an all-time scoring record, plenty of history has been made during MNT January Camp. Learn more about who has made their mark throughout the years.

Roster Changes

While Arena originally announced a 32-player roster, that number decreased when D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid was forced to withdraw from camp with a knee injury. Fellow goalkeeper Stefan Frei also departed camp with an ankle sprain, but was replaced by LA Galaxy backstop Brian Rowe.

On The Mend

While rostered players are going through the paces, injured defender Geoff Cameron has also been around the group the past week, rehabbing and getting treatment with MNT medical staff with hopes of returning soon for both Stoke City and the USA. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Tim Howard also popped into camp on Sunday and gave a status update on his injury recovery.

 

 

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MNT Jan 16, 2017

Graham Zusi Embracing Right Back Switch

When the roster for the annual January Camp is announced, most of the focus usually settles on the new faces whose domestic league success has earned them a shot with the National Team. This time around, however, it was a World Cup veteran who turned most heads with his inclusion – or more specifically, with the position listed next to his name on the sheet.

Veteran midfielder Graham Zusi, who has carved out a solid career as a winger for both Sporting KC and the MNT, has been added to the group of defenders called into the National Training Center for the camp and two friendlies against Serbia and Jamaica.

Zusi’s debut at right back actually came against then LA Galaxy manager Bruce Arena on May 1 at Sporting Park. The MNT winger gave an assured performance in that match, causing trouble up the wing when he provided the assist to Brad Davis’ 30th minute strike before locking down the right side in a 1-1 draw.

Arena remarked post-game that decision to play Zusi there “was interesting” and it seemed to have left an impression.

“To be honest with you, I enjoyed playing right back quite a bit,” Zusi told ussoccer.com during the first week of camp. “It’s something that I’m embracing for sure.”

Vermes deployed Zusi there a second time in Sporting KC’s Aug. 20 match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, saying the 30-year-old “was outstanding” in the 2-0 win.

Zusi’s certainly not the first outside midfielder that has moved to defense. Four-time World Cup veteran DaMarcus Beasley filled in at left back at different points in his international career before making the full-time switch there for the U.S. in 2013. The crafty winger went on to make the position his own the next two years, featuring there during all four matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Recalling his own conversion, Beasley said the most challenging part is learning to work as an overall unit with the other defenders.

“Mostly it’s just being in sync with your line – syncing with your center back and the entire back four – that part takes time,” he told ussoccer.com. “Obviously, you have individual qualities you can bring to that position, but the most important part is making sure you’re in sync with your left or right center back. That’s the battle you have to overcome.”

MNT assistant coach Kenny Arena worked on exactly that with the team’s defenders during Sunday’s training session, with both Beasley and fellow left back Greg Garza providing Zusi tips on how to work in the setup.

“He’s learning,” Beasley said. “He’s smart and experienced enough that he’ll be fine. He’s good going forward, defending one-on-one and he’s quick as well, so he shouldn’t have a problem making the switch.”

For his part, Zusi also recognizes the shift could ensure he sees more playing time going forward.

“In the National Team there’s quite a bit of competition, especially in the midfield, so the more positions I can play, I think the better for me,” he said. “I do enjoy the position -- it brings some freedom to my game. Outside backs see a lot of the ball and going forward I think Bruce is expecting to get me into the attack, so that fits my game as well.”

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MNT Jan 16, 2017
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